Middle Class Scholarship 2.0

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is a California Student Aid Commission (CSACOpens in new window ) administered state program for undergraduates and students pursuing a teaching credential. The 2021-22 State Budget introduced significant changes to the MCS program starting in the 2022-23 academic year. The new MCS program is referred to as MCS 2.0.

Middle Class Scholarship FAQ 2023-2024PDF File Opens in new window

How to Apply

Submit a FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid or CADAA: California Dream Act Application beginning October 1st of the prior year to aid year and the deadline is March 2nd of the following year.  For example, 2023-2024 applications are available on October 1, 2022.  The deadline is March 2, 2023.  Login or create an account and monitor your eligibility on WebGrants 4 StudentsOpens in new window .

Eligibility Requirements

Middle Class Scholarship 2.0 is for eligible families with income and assets of up to $217,000 for 2023-24. Please see CSAC’s 2023-2024 MCS and Income and Asset CeilingsPDF File Opens in new window .

Students must meet the following conditions:

  1. Be enrolled in an Undergraduate program, including students pursuing a teaching credential program.

  2. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by March 2nd

  3. Meet state Financial Aid requirements: Be a California resident; U.S. citizen, permanent resident or meet the requirements for non-resident tuition exemption (i.e., AB 540); maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress; not be in default on a student loan; and must not be incarcerated.

  4. Qualify for a minimum amount of $90 per year based on the MCS formula.

how is the MCS Amount Determined?

Scholarship award amounts will vary by student and by school. The final award amount will be based on the number of students eligible for the MCS statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget.

Additionally, final awards are impacted by the number of units student is enrolled. Please see Disbursement Requirement to see how MCS is prorated according to units enrolled.


MCS 2.0 looks at three components, the ‘available resources’ when determining the award amounts. These components make up the MCS formula.

  1. Student’s Cost of Attendance

  2. Other available gift aid (i.e., federal, state, institutional or scholarship aid)

  3. Student self-help contribution of $7,898 (applied to all students), and a parent contribution for dependent students with a household income of over $100,000, if applicable.

MCS 2.0 is subject to adjustments during the award year ; any changes to the above MCS formula may result in an MCS award amount adjustment. Any additional financial aid offers received may result in reductions or loss of MCS eligibility, including but not limited to scholarships, state/federal grants, stipends, fee waivers, etc.

Middle Class Scholarship Award Lifetime Limit

Students may receive the MCS award for up to 4 years depending on education level when awarded. The California Student Aid Commission determines students’ lifetime eligibility. 

When Will MCS be awarded and disbursed?

MCS is awarded and disbursed after census date. Final enrollment for a semester is measured at University Census, (the last day of the add period, which typically occurs on the fourth Friday of the semester). Please see Registration & Records webpage for all the Important DatesOpens in new window each semester, including Census.

Disbursement Requirement

Student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 units for an MCS payment, see the unit enrollment and percentage of disbursed amounts below.

Enrollment Status

Number of Units Enrolled

Percentage of Disbursed Amount


12 or more units



9-11 units



6-8 units



1-5 units

Not Eligible

Possible Reasons for Awarding Delays

  • Student’s enrollment changes from Full-time to Part-time (awards are based on Full-Time status)

  • There is a change in the available resources (i.e., COA, gift aid, parent contribution, if applicable).

  • The student is enrolled for one semester (Fall only) or (Spring only)


Adjustments to award amount can take 3 to 6 weeks to process.

  • Office of Financial Aid uploads corrections on WebGrants

  • CSAC process new corrections and determines new MCS eligibility

  • Office of Financial Aid receives updated roster from CSAC

  • Office of Financial Aid awards/adjusts MCS amount on student’s account